'High School Musical 4' Returning To TV

The fourth installment of Disney’s High School Musical movie franchise will once again be making its world premiere on Disney Channel in 2010, the network says.

Disney will not be launching the movie first in theaters, as it did for High School Musical 3, which premiered last October, racking up over $250 million at the worldwide box office.

The fourth installment will also feature a new cast of characters, which would make a theatrical launch a risky proposition if current stars Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgens don't come on board in some form. 

The High School Musical franchise started life on Disney Channel in January, 2006, but has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon. High School Musical 2 premiered on the network in August, 2007, and was at the time the most-watched program in cable television history.

The High School Musical trilogy introduced a new generation to the celebrated genre of movie musicals,” said Gary Marsh, president, Entertainment, Disney Channels Worldwide, announcing the decision. “In crafting this next iteration, we've challenged the entire creative team to raise the bar again -- and create something truly worthy of this extraordinary global phenomenon.”

Production on High School Musical 4 will begin later this year, with Peter Barsocchini who wrote each of the three movies in the franchise, handling the screenplay. Bill Borden and Barry Rosenbush will return as the executive producers.